Robert Mitchell’s Panacea - The Cusp (3 stars)

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Robert Mitchell’s Panacea - The Cusp

(Edition Records)

Pianist Robert Mitchell follows up 2008’s trio album The Greater Good with this outing from his bigger Panacea group. If the trio reflected more overt jazz directions, the focus here falls more on song than instrumental music, with Deborah Jordan’s singing to the fore. Nonetheless, the choice of instrumentation is actually the most intriguing element.The core trio of piano, bass and drums is augmented not by horns but by violin, cello and percussion, creating an often intriguing jazz-classical fusion of sonorities and textures around Jordan’s soft-focus soul voice (and HKB Finn’s spoken word contribution). Mitchell is composer and lyricist of all songs, which reflect the theme of healing suggested by the Greek goddess of healing as the group’s name.

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